I jumped out of a plane!!! At 10,000 feet!!! It was awesome!!!
For my 30th birthday, Alex and Kris took me skydiving in SC. I have to admit, I was both excited and scared out of my mind. The scared actually didn't sink in until we were standing there getting instructed on how to fall out of a plane that's already in the air, but it did come. The three of us got to SC around 12pm on Saturday and because it was such a relaxed place, they got us started right away on signing our lives away and directing us on how not to do anything stupid. After that we got suited up in a tight harness and before we knew it were told to load up in this itty-bitty little plane. Alex and her partner and me and my partner crammed ourselves into this plane and up we went.
My partner Mike talked to us most of the way up; he was retired military and had become a motivational speaker after retirement. Needless to say, he was fun to talk to. I'm glad he was; I think that helped keep me relaxed. Once we hit about 7000 feet, Dale went over the instructions again (head back, belly arched, curl legs back and up, push out pelvis, cross arms) and we got strapped on to our partners (talk about too-closeness with a stranger).
At 10000 feet, Dale flung open the door (literally), had Alex spin her feet around and out the plane, and before I know it they were gone. I thought I was going to piss myself...glad I didn't. I immediately swung my legs over and out and was not shocked to find that 1. It was about 30 degrees colder that high up and 2. My feet weren't going to stay on the steps very well. Mike slid me forward, said "Here we go", and then we were falling. It's hard to describe how it felt- my face was frozen and I was sucking in a lot of cold air- but it was a unique feeling. I felt more like I was falling than flying (like others say) but it wasn't bad at all. When Mike pulled the chute I was surprised at how little it yanked me up. Once he handed me the toggles (straps to control the chute) he showed me how to spin in circles. I briefly thought I'd puke but it was more fun than anything. I looked down for Alex and couldn't find her...that's when I realized she was way above me. Apparently Mike likes to free fall longer and pull the chute closer to the ground, so we had gone right past them.
Before I knew it we were getting ready to land and we glided right in and stood up without any work. Alex and Dale came in shortly after, grinning from ear to ear. We headed back to the hangar, got unhooked, and jumped right back in the car to drive back to NC. It was definitely worth it; I would do it again but I'll be honest, I didn't get the "skydiving bug"- I would rather learn to fly the plane than jump out of it.
Once back in Fayettenam (really, that place sucks more than Greenville) we went to see Shutter Island (great movie) and then went back to Alex and Kris' and steamed some crab legs. A good end to a fun weekend.